E-kerosene: A magic bullet for decarbonising aviation industry

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Highlights

  • Worldwide flights produced around 915 million tonnes of carbon dioxide in 2019.
  • E-kerosene is a sustainable and carbon-neutral fuel that is produced by combining carbon dioxide and hydrogen.
  • The use of e-kerosene also helps to lower the concentration of particulate matter and sulphur emissions.

The global aviation industry accounts for nearly 2.1% of all human-induced carbon emissions, as per estimates made by Air Transport Action Group, an independent coalition of aviation industry experts focusing on sustainable development issues. In 2019, worldwide flights produced around 915 million tonnes of carbon dioxide, making the aviation sector responsible for 12% of total carbon dioxide emissions from all transport sources.

Besides, the world is transitioning towards a low-carbon energy future. Almost every sector is now bound to curb its carbon emission in line with the Paris agreement. For the aviation sector to become carbon-neutral in time, it needs an alternative to kerosene, which is produced from crude oil. E-kerosene is "drop-in" ready and can be introduced into the sector to assist in achieving climate goals.

Related read: How climate change plays with the Australian economy

How aviation sector can curb its emissions

E-kerosene is a sustainable and carbon-neutral fuel that is produced by combining carbon dioxide and hydrogen. To produce zero-greenhouse gas emission e-kerosene, two primary conditions are necessary which are as follows:

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E-kerosene could play a vital role to replace conventional fuels and for that reason, it is very important to focus on such fuels which can steer decarbonisation goals.

Also read: Four Australian stocks that are future-ready on global warming

How E-Kerosene helps to curb emissions

The utilisation of e-kerosene is likely to reduce the formation of contrails which traps heat radiations from the Earth’s surface to warm the air below it. At the same time, e-kerosene is made up of small quantities of aromatic chemicals and particles that produce "soot", which is eventually responsible for contrail formation

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The application of e-kerosene also helps to lower the concentration of particulate matter and sulphur emission relative to fossil fuels which can help to improve the quality of air, especially near airports.

Recent trends

In July 2021, the European Commission proposed ReFuelEU, new legislation to increase the stake of sustainable aviation fuels in the region. However, targets proposed by the European Commission for e-kerosene are too small and coming late.

As per a recent report published by an umbrella group of non-governmental organisations, Europe could save about five million tonnes of carbon dioxide by producing 1.83 million tonnes of e-kerosene in 2030 if policymakers boost the market by lifting targets for its use.

Good Read: How is Australia planning to meet its emissions target?

Bottom Line

Rising carbon emissions have created a need for alternative sources of energy that could help the world to decarbonise. E-kerosene could be a boon for the global aviation sector and could help the world to squeeze carbon emissions effectively.


 


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